#WeekendCoffeeShare. Of Literacy and Creating Community

Welcome to my Weekend Coffee Share, and top o’ the mornin’ to you! I just had my matcha green tea, since yesterday was coffee day. Pull up a chair and grab your favorite beverage. My fluffy canine companion might even make an appearance!

I feel hopeful this morning. The sun is out, and it looks like Spring! We do get those starts and stops with Spring in Jacksonville, Florida. I also slept well last night! I socially distanced by eating at home, intended to watch some Netflix after making a review quiz for my classes and speaking to my boyfriend, but fell asleep before turning on the TV. I didn’t miss much, and I sure need more sleep lately!

A quiet night was a welcome balance after a busy, boisterous week as a middle school English teacher. My observation was this week, there was also a full moon this week, yada, yada, yada. I survived. Did you know this past week was Literacy week? Well, we had a little fun, and it makes working during a pandemic much more bearable.

My coworkers are the best!

I found out late about Literacy week, so I spread the word to my grade and subject co-workers to wear animal print or animal themed clothing on Friday, stating that we’re “Wild about Books, Reading, etc.” I made a little 3D book for some of my grade level cohorts to wear. It was fun telling the kids why we did this and getting a smile or chuckle, especially from the ones who also love reading! One of my new coworkers who has been stressed lately even said that it made work feel a little better today, and I’m so glad! We are creating a community, with each other and with our students.

I know there are some I’m not reaching yet, but I have whole classes that are kind communities. Was it my doing? I hope that it partly was. I’ll definitely give the kids some credit. I’m starting the Newspaper Club this week and so excited! I even bought a newsprint mask from Etsy! I know, I’m such a dork, but let’s make dorkhood cool…Why not?

So, at least I’ll be using my writing talents in some way: to inspire others. Maybe to also create community. It’s all a work in progress.

Interestingly, I forgot to mention the negatives, only that my week was busy. I forgot my moments of anxiety; they rolled right off my back. I feel like I can overcome anything!

Take care my friends, be safe, and have a great week!

Weekend Coffee Share, “That Sweet Spot.”

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Welcome to my #WeekendCoffeeShare hosted by Allison at Eclectic Ali!  It’s Valentine’s Day week, and I am in love with life.  As hectic, busy, and packed-full as my brain is, I am not miserable at all!  It seems my hard work has been paying off, and I don’t mean paying for vacations or bills, but producing results, nonetheless.

My Facebook job of record is “In training at- Trying to be a Positive Influence on Others.” It’s true abd shall be true all my life.  I make enough money to get by.  I may get a bonus now and then to provide for a vacation, but what matters is if I am reaching the young hearts and minds of those in my classroom.  What matters is that I am writing material as an author that pleases my heart and makes people think.  Somehow, between the two, I want to make the world a better place.  I’m still taking courses on how to teach and reach the highest achievers in school.  It keeps me so busy, and I’m enjoying it immensely!  I caught up on my course this week, working almost daily in the evening to get the assignments done.  So I had time Saturday to a little writing with my current character, Malachi.  I even had time to go to lunch with my son.  Friday, I started putting those planned lessons and assignments to work.  It was great fun!

Forgive me if nothing is in linear order here.  I had a Eureka moment while teaching on Friday.  I worked so hard this week at learning new strategies, sitting for hours at my laptop, working while eating, processing, planning, interpreting data. The payoff: A lesson on things I love, animal nature, poetry, and figurative language, as well as a poet I got to research in a Grad. School class. A student I never thought I was reaching said, “Ms. Canepa, you are the teachingest Reading teacher I’ve ever had.” Students had fun creating their own creative metaphors, and some sat in a group with me discussing their choice of alternate assignment because they passed a pre-test.   They looked so genuinely interested in the assignment to find out the background of the authors and maybe even appreciative.  It’s called differentiation, and it’s a lot of hard work.  It doesn’t only exist for those who need help getting it, but for those on the other end as well.

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Students seemed so excited Friday.  Well, it was Friday and there was a dance, but they were really participating in our discussion.  Next week, I’m going to play them a song called “Dog and Butterfly” by Heart,  circa 1979. We’ll discuss how we can learn from animal nature.  I felt my own enthusiasm radiating from me on Friday when I introduced our poems.  It was great, since I’d felt bogged down by drudgery most of the week.

 

person holding stick in grayscale photography Somewhere in Alaska.

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I am also excited to be sharing some poetry by Mary TallMountain, a Native Alaskan poet I studied in a Graduate class at UNF.  Some of my students will be digging into her background and where she’s from.  They’ll be learning about a beauriful place that is mostly foreign to them.  I studied her in a course on American Literature that exposed us to many authors that are not traditionally on a college course syllabus.  I loved that class…

All in all, I am feeling great and will start another assignment for my course within the next hour.  The coffee is kicking in!  I learned a few things the past week:  If you lvoe what you do, it rubs off on others.  Hard work pays off.  Never quit,  but I already knew that, I just keep re-learning it.  The other: if you are writing a novel in bits and pieces, taking weeks off at a time due to life responsibilities, do keep notes on what your side character’s last names are, and consult it often.  Also, don’t leave your main character hanging on a limb for too long!  Still, I feel much better for having given Malachi some attention yesterday.  I am in the sweet spot for the time being.  Thanks God for a clearing of the clouds!  Even though the clouds may return, each time it seems I am learning more on how to see beyond the clouds.

I have a few author events coming up as well.  They are online events, and I plan to share more about them as they get closer.  Thank you for stopping by and sharing some coffee and a little bit of my recent joys with me.  Have a great week!

 

#WeekendCoffeeShare, I’ll Keep Dancing ‘cuz I Love Dancing!

 

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Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, hosted by Emily at nerdinthebrain.com and soon to be hosted again by parttimemonsterblog.com.  As you can see in the photo, there are many days lately where my coffee of choice is ICED!  The heat here in Florida is amazing lately.  This coffee drink was iced mocha.  Yum!  I actually met with some friends and fellow writers Thursday for a fellow writers’ chat.  Hence, the above photo, which is perfect for summer!  If we were having coffee today, on the 9th of July, I would tell you:

*Book News:  Most days this week, I have sold one or two of the Detours in Time books at Amazon.  Some days, I think it’s because of the book postcard I gave to the cashier or customer service manager at the grocery store or the coffee shop.  This is one way I’m getting the word out.  I got a graphic designer to make this design, and then I ordered the postcards to be printed.  I hand them out in many places, and Wow!  They look very professional, and they make me look legitimate, so they make me talk to people about my writing!  Imagine that!  People don’t know I’m an author.  I need to tell them!  I should be proud!  I worked hard on this book.  I paid for editing, cover design, graphics, postcard, formatting, and there’s something I missed, but you get the drift.  I should be proud.  Plus, I really enjoyed the writing of this book.  I do this because I enjoy it, so I should be proud.  I’m working on this poem in my mind about it.  It’s like, I’m displaying my talent and hard work, so I don’t want people to ignore or to look away, even if I am only earning a few dollars on it.  Well, there are some days it seems no one sees my Facebook posts, and sometimes you’ll have some days without a sale.  Come on, you indie authors know what I’m talking about! Anyway, I’ll likely order more postcards.  It has been fun talking about my writing with strangers.  (It’s helping me develop my elevator pitch). 🙂  This is what it looks like, designed by Kat Mellon:

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Also in book news, a big thanks to Jackie O. who, starting Monday, gave me a book/author feature on her blog this week!  See it at https://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/2017/07/03/bring-your-books-5-author-zone/

Another round of thanks to Katrina Robinson, who hosted my “Interview with a Character” from Detours in Time this Weds., 7/05.  Please visit and give it a read at https://calliopewriting.com/2017/07/05/guest-blog-post-interview-with-a-character-from-pamela-schloesser-canepas-detours-in-time/   It is a different sort of post on the blog tour for my new sci-fi novel, Detours in Time.

This week I have also have a book spotlight at princessofthelight.wordpress.com.  They are pleasant to work with, and have a lot of Twitter followers who have retweeted my book spotlight!

*A big topic of discussion with my fellow writers at coffee was recent movies.  I had been bad about attending movies, but I have finally seen The Guardians of the Galaxy 2, (and then rented part 1 on Netflix) and more recently, Wonder Woman.  I loved both!  There has been a lot of talk about theology in Wonder Woman, and then, I saw another article that cited Buddhists principles in Wonder Woman!  The point is, people are seeing a moral or spiritual element in the movie, and I noticed a similarity of the god Ares’ fall to that of Lucifer.  I did not love it for the fight scenes, but for many of the other elements present.  Many people are seeing different things.  Go see it!  GOTG: it’s just awesome, full of action, great music, and characters you can easily fall for.  Enough said.  See them both, especially if you love sci-fi and superheroes.  Next up, War for the Planet of the Apes.  I am there!  I’ve seen people guffaw at it as racist.  Huh?  You can see it in many different ways.  What I see is that the apes are closer to nature than mankind, and therefore they would save it (and fight for it) as opposed to our destruction of the planet.  I know the original condemns mankind for blowing up the planet, and it made quite an impression on the young me.  I am curious and will certainly see this one too.  My next on Netflix is The Man From UNCLE.  Yes, I’ve seen it before, but it’s worth a revisit!  Spy intrigue, handsome lead, 60’s fashion, 60’s classic cars, exciting love story, and HENRY CAVILL.  I am a fan.  🙂  Worth revisiting!

*Writing?  Yes, I wrote a story this week!  Well, two, but one of them is still secret.  The other is a flash fiction that I wrote here on WordPress for the Flash fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge.  It is in reaction to a photo prompt.  I love these and will likely try them with my English Language Arts students.  Someone should love writing like I do!  Here is my response:                                                        https://pamelascanepa.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/flashfictionforaspiringwriters-i-took-the-fall/

*So, beyond that, I got the dog groomed, spent some time with my son, went to Artwalk with my significant other, and read at least one book this week, and there were two yoga classes.  I also went to a fundraiser yoga class this morning that was different than my usual practice.  It was great, even though I modified a lot.  Yes, it is a common thread in my posts.  Yoga-dogs-books.  If I spend my time doing those things, it means I am loving my life!

Visit   Emily at http://www.nerdinthebrain.com/weekendcoffeeshare-the-one-where-i-pass-the-reigns-back/  for her week’s insights and for the coffee shares of some fellow bloggers.  You may add yours by clicking on the InLinks button.

Thank you for reading this far, especially if you haven’t tired of me “spitting out the butt-ends of my days and ways,” (From a T.S. Eliot poem) which amounts to:  Yoga, books, dogs.  Add Family.  Friends.  Coffee!  I shall have to add food next time.  🙂 Have a great week!